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'Israeli war crimes should go to international court'

Palestinian ambassador to UN in Geneva says International Criminal Court should start investigating Israeli war crimes

Bayram Altug   | 24.03.2019
'Israeli war crimes should go to international court'

GENEVA

Israeli crimes against peaceful Palestinian protesters in Gaza should go to the International Criminal Court (ICC), said the Palestinian ambassador to UN in Geneva on Sunday.

Ibrahim Khraishi's call came after the UN Human Rights Council on Friday passed a resolution on strengthening the UN presence in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territory.

The council said it was "gravely concerned" by the findings of the UN-appointed independent international commission of inquiry, which said Israeli forces may have committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the peaceful Great March of Return protests.

"That report should be transmitted to the ICC by the commissioner," Khraishi told Anadolu Agency, referring to Michelle Bachelet, who heads the council.

Khraishi said that Israeli forces target all people, not sparing children, the disabled, the media, or healthcare providers.

Expressing his hope that the report will go to the ICC, Khraishi said court prosecutors should start investigating Israeli war crimes.

Mentioning British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt saying his country would oppose all anti-Israeli resolutions at the council, Khraishi said: "Our cause was started by Britain’s Balfour Declaration more than 100 years ago. After their mandate, they encouraged Israeli gangs to kill our people and evict them from their houses."

He went on to say that under the British mandate in Palestine, Israeli forces had damaged more than 500 villages and cities.

Khraishi criticized British "double standards" towards Palestinians, saying the U.K. "is always asking for accountability everywhere but when it comes to Israel, they are the protectors and they encourage a culture of impunity."

Since Palestinians began holding rallies along the Gaza-Israel buffer zone in March 2018, more than 250 demonstrators have been killed by Israeli army gunfire.

Demonstrators demand the Palestinian refugees' right to return to their homes in historical Palestine, from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

They also demand an end to Israel’s 12-year blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave’s economy and deprived its roughly 2 million inhabitants of many basic commodities.

*Writing by Sibel Morrow

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